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£1.4 million investment to advance cell therapy to treat hearing loss

4 June 2019

Big money has been secured to develop a new stem cell therapy that could potentially help restore hearing, following pioneering research that national charity Action on Hearing Loss helped to fund.

What started out as a research project in Sheffield University, is now a newly-formed company called Rinri Therapeutics, which has secured £1.4 million in seed funding to further develop its work on treating neuropathic sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), which affects around 34 million people in Europe.

Rinri’s underlying technology seeks to reverse neuropathic sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) by repairing the damaged cytoarchitecture (cellular structure) in the inner ear.

SNHL happens when there is damage to cells in the cochlea or the auditory nerve.

Dr Ralph Holme, Executive Director of Research at Action on Hearing Loss, said: “We funded much of the early research carried out by Professor Rivolta’s team showing that it is possible to generate inner ear cells from stem cells in the laboratory and then to use these to improve hearing in animal models.

“We are delighted that Rinri Therapeutics has now been established and secured private investment to continue developing this innovative treatment that could transform lives.”

Dr Chandler, CEO of Rinri Therapeutics, said: “I am delighted to be leading Rinri as we work to transition our exciting preclinical program into the clinic, and to move closer to the realisation of an effective treatment for the many patients with sensorineural hearing loss.”

Hearing loss can have a significant impact, cutting people off from friends and family leading to isolation and loneliness.

Action on Hearing Loss helps people confronting deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss to live the life they choose, through their biomedical research, campaigns for change and services across the UK.

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Notes to editors

RNID is the national charity helping people living with deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss to live the life they choose. RNID enables them to take control of their lives and remove the barriers in their way, giving people support and care, developing technology and treatments, and campaigning for equality.

About Rinri Therapeutics

Rinri Therapeutics is a private biotechnology company developing advanced stem cell-based therapeutics to restore hearing. The company’s pioneering technology seeks to reverse neuropathic sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) through the repair of the damaged cytoarchitecture in the inner ear. SNHL is estimated to affect 64 million patients in the US and 34 million in Europe. There are currently no pharmacological treatment options for SNHL patients.

Rinri, is backed by Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF), UCB Ventures, BioCity and the University of Sheffield. Rinri was founded in late-2018 and is headquartered in Sheffield, UK. For more information, please visit: www.rinri-therapeutics.com